Threat description




W97M/Caligula is a Word macro virus that tries to attack against the popular PGP (Pretty Good Privacy) encryption program.


Automatic action

Depending on the settings of your F-Secure security product, it will either automatically delete, quarantine or rename the suspect file, or ask you for a desired action.

More scanning & removal options

More information on the scanning and removal options available in your F-Secure product can be found in the Help Center.

You may also refer to the Knowledge Base on the F-Secure Community site for more information.

Contact Support

F-Secure customers can request support online via the Request support or the Chat forms on our Home - Global site.

Technical Details

The virus spreads by keeping it's code in a file called c:\io.vxd.

The summary information of infected documents is changed to this:

     Title:    WM97/Caligula Infection         Subject:  A Study In Espionage Enabled Viruses         Author:   Opic         Keywords: / Caligula / Opic / Codebreakers /         Comments: The Best Security Is Knowing The Other       Guy Hasn't Got Any  

The virus hooks the Tools/Macro, Tools/Customize, View/Toolbar and View/statusbar menus. The Tools/Macro menu is greyed out and can't be accessed.

On 31st of each month the virus shows a dialog with this message:

     WM97/Caligula (c) Opic [CodeBreakers 1998]        No cia,         No nsa,         No satellite,         Could map our veins.  

The really nasty part of the virus is related to PGP: the virus locates the secret keyring file of PGP (SECRING.SKR) and tries to send it with FTP to a site in the domain (which is known virus exchange site). To send the key the virus creates temporary file called c:\cdbrk.vxd.

If the attacker can break the passphrase, he can then open PGP encrypted files sent to this user.

This is quite serious as passphrases are the weakest known link today in public key cryptography such as PGP. Also, people very commonly use too weak passphrases. With a copy of the keyring, massive brute-force attacks are possible for any period of time - and the user may not even know if a copy has been made of the keyring.

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